The United Nations has warned that Afghanistan is on the verge of becoming the world’s biggest humanitarian calamity.
Since Ashraf Ghani’s government failed, the country’s economy has been largely dependant on aid, and government workers have not been paid. Food basics such as oil, wheat, and rice have seen price increases of up to 55% in the last year..
The unnamed children, all thought to be aged under 10, were found dead in the capital, Kabul, after being left to fend for themselves following the deaths of their mother and father.
These kinds of stories are likely to become more common as more than half the population of Afghanistan are now short of food, and the looming catastrophe will soon eclipse crises in Yemen and Syria, according to the latest assessment by the UN’s food body.
The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates nearly 23 million of the country’s 39m population are now unable to get regular access to enough food. That figure has risen from 14m only two months ago.
David Beasley, executive director of WFP, said: “Children are going to die. People are going to starve. Things are going to get a lot worse.”
“I don’t know how you don’t have millions of people, and especially children, dying at the rate we are going with the lack of funding and the collapsing of the economy.”
Those at risk are estimated to include at least 14m children.
The country’s massive disaster is on the way, as evidenced by the news that eight children were found dead of hunger three weeks ago in a West Kabul neighborhood, according to local elders. The family’s father was bedridden and suffering from a tumor and died long ago.
A priest named Mohammad Ali Bamiani informed local media that their mother, who was suffering from heart problems, died soon after. The children were abandoned and reliant on neighbors for bread and water, but the landlord discovered them dead weeks ago.
“Afghanistan is now among the world’s worst humanitarian crises, if not the worst. Food security is on the verge of collapsing. Unless we can increase our life-saving assistance and revitalize the economy, millions of Afghans will be forced to choose between migration and famine this winter.
“We’re on the verge of calamity, and if we don’t move soon, we’ll be dealing with a major tragedy.” the executive director of WFP said.